I’m pretty good at worrying. It’s one of my skills that I’ve been practicing for most of my life. I also put a lot of effort into getting worked up about nothing.
I realize that Christians aren’t supposed to do that. So in addition to “worrying” and “getting worked up about nothing”, I am now working on “surrendering everything over to God”, and praying a lot for “peace that passes all understanding”.
Given my experience with the skills of worrying and getting worked up, I found it funny that the story I read in my Bible last night has never stuck out to me before. I was reading in Mark (chapter 4:35-41, to be exact), about the time when Jesus and his disciples were in a boat, and there was a huge storm. The disciples are freaking out, but Jesus is asleep. (I really enjoy my translation: “Jesus was asleep on a cushion.” Sounds very comfy, and reminds me of a cat.)
Anyway. Jesus was asleep, so they woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
I actually burst out laughing, because I’ve totally said something like that to God before. I have these needs that could definitely be qualified as emergencies in my mind, and I’m praying about them like crazy, and it feels like God is doing NOTHING. So because it feels like He’s doing nothing, I get all frustrated and impatient, and finally burst out with, “Don’t you care?!! Why aren’t you doing something? Don’t you hear my prayers? Don’t you see my suffering?”
As I read further in the story, I found that Jesus simply got up from His cushion, “rebuked” the wind, and made the storm stop. Just like that, everything was suddenly calm and peaceful.
In the midst of the storm, it seems to go on forever. But how long does it take for God to move and act, and accomplish the impossible?
About two seconds.
And when everything is suddenly calm and peaceful in my own life, and He’s got everything under control, I find myself sitting there with my eyes still red from crying, my nose running, and suddenly feeling incredibly foolish for getting so worked up about… nothing. It’s over, just like that.
Why is it that whenever I have to wait awhile for God to move, I immediately jump to the conclusion that He’s not going to do anything?
So the storm is gone, they’re sitting there in the boat in shock, and Jesus says to them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Reading that story, it all looks so simple. Of course Jesus was going to do something. Of course they would be fine in the storm. What’s the worst that could happen – the boat would capsize, and they would all drown? God in heaven would say, “Well, Jesus was supposed to die on a cross to save the world from their sins, but before that could happen, He drowned in a storm. Oops.”
Ridiculous. We know better than that.
But do I? In that particular story, I do. But if I truly knew better than that, I could stop worrying. Forever.
David Livingstone wrote, “I am immortal till my work is accomplished.”
There is nothing to worry about, nothing to fear, nothing to get worked up about, because the storm in my life will stop the second that my Father sees fit. My circumstances can change in an instant, if that is what He wills.
And so I am free to go about living life and following Jesus with reckless abandon, because my life is in His hands.
What is stopping me? My lack of faith.
Fortunately for me, that’s something that God can help me with too. I’ve always loved that verse about the man who asked Jesus for more faith. We often think we have to muster up more of that one on our own, but we don’t.
So that story last night reminded me to pray for faith, and then hang on tight and enjoy the ride.
Anyone else out there who’s with me in the struggle to have faith and trust God?